Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Stressato: Samurai Serpents

“Stressato: Samurai Serpents” resembles Jean-Pierre Gauthier’s drawing machines (such as Marqueurs d’incertitude). Like many of the artist’s creations, the work emphasizes graphic quality and the movement of a line in space. On a large panel covered by an “action painting” (that is reminiscent of the textured and dark surfaces of a Borduas, Soulages or Kline), which looks like a (drawing?) table, cables are activated by an approaching viewer and begin to wiggle all over the place, twisting and intertwining in a surprising way – as though they were actually reacting to a threat. In moving about in this way, these silver lines on a black ground continuously change the “painting’s” composition and transform it into an animated image. Like a musical improvisation, the line’s disorganized movements create sounds that vary each time.

Montreal artist Jean-Pierre Gauthier, who has been active on the contemporary art scene since the mid-1990s, has a hybrid practice that incorporates visual arts and audio exploration. He was the winner of the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2004 and recipient of the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award in 2006. He has exhibited his audio and kinetic installations across Canada, in Europe, Asia and North America. Notable among his group exhibitions are Montreal’s Biennale 2000, Electrohype 2006 in Lunds Konsthall, Transmediale.06 – Smile Machines at Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2006), Tonspur_expanded in Vienna, Austria (2010). A retrospective of his work entitled Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play was organised by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and was shown in five Canadian Museums and at the Akron Art Museum (Ohio,USA). The artist is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. His last solo exhibition in New York was considered by the Village Voice as one of the best shows of 2011.